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Can Darwian Tubercle on Helix of Ear Be Removed Without Scarring?

Doctor Answers (8)

Ear Plastic Surgery without scarring

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Thank you for your question. Darwin's tubercle is a congenital ear condition which often presents as a thickening on the helix at the junction of the upper and middle thirds. This is a normal anatomic variant present in about 10% of the population. If the appearance of this condition causes concern, it can be improved with a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia in the office. Following surgery, the ear displays a more smooth contour. Any surgical incision leaves a scar by definition, but the incision site is usually not noticeable.


Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Darwinian Tubercle Removal

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    This tubercle can be removed under local anesthesia with a scar hidden on the back of the ear, but you will have a scar.  Kenneth Hughes, MD ear pinning Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Removal of a Darwin tubercle without a scar

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A small quarter inch incision is usually all that is necessary from behind the ear to go in and remove the Darwin tubercle.  This is a simple procedure done under local anesthesia.  A small inconspicuous scar on the back of the ear is all that will be required.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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Scarring after ear surgery

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Whenever a cut is made anywhere in the body, a scar is inevitable.

In plastic surgery, the surgeon tries to hide/mask the scar. For the ear, this usually means placing the scar in the back of the ear where it is not visible, or sometimes along the normal curvature of the ear (the helical fold) so that the scar is not very apparent.

Anindya Lahiri, MBBS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
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Darwinian tubercle removal: may need cartilage and skin alteration

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In addition to the comments below, a Darwinian tubercle can be made up of skin and cartilage. Removal of the underlying cartilage excess alone may not correct the problem. The overlying skin, which has been "stretched" by the underlying cartilage, may not completely shrink to conform to the new cartilage shape. Thus skin excision may in fact be desired, which may require an incsion along the udersurface of the helix.

C.W. David Chang, MD
Columbia Facial Plastic Surgeon

Removal of Darwinian's Tubercle of Ear Without Visible Scar

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No surgery can be performed without a scar, the question is how discreet will the scar be. In removal of the excess cartilage that is the source of the thickening on the inner edge of the helical rim (Darwinian's Tubercle), the incision is placed on the underside of the rim. So even during the healing process it can not be seen. So in this example of ear surgery, the procedure is done with no resultant visible ear scarring.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Can Darwian Tubercle on Helix of Ear Be Removed Without Scarring?

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No and ... yes. There will need to be a scar but it can be hidden in the fold of the ear and closed very carefully. This creates a scar that should not be noticeable to anyone other than yourself. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Can Darwinian tubercle on ear be removed without a scar?

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A Darwinian tubercle on the ear needs to be removed surgically.  Whenever an incision is made, a scar will form.  So, it cannot be removed without a scar, but it can be removed to hide the scar so that it is not noticeable.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.